Manitoba Conservation officer sedates a polar bear with a dart. Rhonda Reid photo.
Polar bear looking for cover among the rocky coastal area in Churchill. Rhonda Reid photo.
On the trail of a rogue polar bear in Churchill. Rhonda Reid photo.
Darted polar bear still putting up a fight. Rhonda Reid photo.
A polar bear nearing the town limits was darted and sedated from a helicopter by Manitoba Conservation officers today. The bear would not be taken easily, however. The chase took over an hour and two sedation darts were needed to bring this polar bear into custody. This bear charged a Conservation vehicle and then was finally brought under control and transported to the Polar Bear Holding Facility. The bear has since been released.
Barren – ground grizzly under sedation at the Churchill Polar Bear Holding Facility. Manitoba Conservation photo.
Barren – ground grizzly in the Churchill Polar Bear Holding Facility. Manitoba Conservation photo.
Helicopter lifts the Barren – ground grizzly to its northern release location. Manitoba Conservation photo.
In Churchill, when a bear breaks into a cabin or outbuilding, Polar Bear Alert is called. On July 18, 2018 the call was made and Conservation officers investigated. No bear was located that day however roughly a week later a bear was captured in a culvert trap set by the officers in the area.
July 26th Manitoba Conservation officers approached a trap and realized quickly they had a bear inside. Once they examined the trap more closely they were quite surprised. Instead of the usual polar bear captive, they had trapped a Barren – ground grizzly bear! After spending part of the day in the polar bear holding facility, the animal was airlifted and released near the Manitoba – Nunavut border to the north.
The male grizzly weighed 388 lbs and was equipped with a GPS ear tag and lip tattooed to track its movements. The GPS will transmit over the next four months and researchers will be able to study its migration pattern. Barren – ground grizzlies are Protected under the Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act.
Here are the recent polar bear statistics from Manitoba Conservation in Churchill. Finally there is respite from the polar bear saturation around town. Polar bears are all moving to the Hudson Bay ice and it looks as if soon there will be little threat around the community. Great to know friends and folks in Churchill can breathe a sigh of relief.
Polar bear season in Churchill has been steady this year though the Manitoba Conservation report indicates there are numerous polar bears out at Cape Churchill. They should start to migrate along the coast west towards Churchill in the next week or so. The temperatures have been pretty mild so bears are isolated in certain areas at the moment. Stay tuned for more action from the CWMA!
Polar bear surveying the Hudson Bay. Brad Josephs photo.
Polar bear numbers for the past week were fairly consistent for this time of year. Looks like Manitoba Conservation is clearing the jail in preparation for the upcoming polar bear season in Churchill starting in a couple of weeks. Should be another exciting wildlife bonanza with incredible polar bear action in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area!
Mother polar bear and her two coy roam the frozen tundra. Thon Huijser photo.
Polar bear encounter stats from Manitoba Conservation for the week of September 19, 2016. Town of Churchill image.